Meditation Guru Leads Stress Management Workshop
This past Thursday, meditation consultant Beth Roth led Yale FES students in an hour long stress management workshop at Sage Hall. Roth – a graduate of the Yale School of Nursing –has been teaching meditation for more than twenty years. She works with patients with chronic pain and life-threatening illnesses and presents to students and teachers at universities, corporate employees, hospital staff, and other organizations throughout Connecticut.
The workshop was one of several Technical Skills Modules being offered at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies this semester. Yale’s TSM program identifies skill sets valuable to graduate students and provides workshops designed to equip students with the skills needed to be successful in school and beyond.
This Thursday’s workshop focused on the idea of “mindfulness” – the ability to focus all of one’s thoughts and emotions on the present moment. Though it sounds simple, training the mind to stay in the present can be difficult, particularly for busy graduate students whose minds are constantly flitting from task to task. What student hasn’t read an entire textbook page only to reach the end and realize he or she hasn’t absorbed a word of it?
After a healthy lunch, we discussed what “mindfulness” means to us, the challenges faced in achieving mindfulness, and the particular challenges associated with chronic pain and anxiety. Roth then led us through several simple meditation exercises meant to train our minds to be focused on the present. Though it takes some practice, Roth showed us that spending just a few minutes in meditation each day can help melt the stress away – and that’s something we could all benefit from!